Concert: Ayers for an English Afternoon
Elizabethan music performed by Tracy Cowart, mezzo-soprano, Jason Priset, lute, and John Mark Rozendaal, viola da gamba. Summer of Shakespeare is funded in part by a grant from the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs as part of their Essex County Local Arts Grant Program.
About the performers:
John Mark Rozendaal specializes in teaching and performing stringed instrument music from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. JMR performs as a member of LeStrange Viols; Brandywine Baroque; and Trio Settecento with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist David Schrader. As founding Artistic Director of Chicago Baroque Ensemble, JMR performed and led seven seasons of subscription concerts, educational programs, radio broadcasts, and recordings for the Cedille and Centaur labels. Rozendaal served as principal ‘cellist of The City Musick, and Basically Bach, and has performed both solo and continuo roles with many period instrument ensembles, including the Newberry Consort, Orpheus Band, the King’s Noyse. Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and the Bethlehem Bach Choir. Rozendaal’s viola da gamba playing has been praised as “splendid” (Chicago Tribune), and “breathtaking” (Sun-Times). Recordings are available on the Cedille and Centaur labels. A dedicated teacher, Rozendaal is in demand as a workshop teacher and regularly joins the faculties of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Conclave, Amherst Early Music, Madison Early Music Festival. JMR teaches Viola da Gamba Dojo classes and private lessons at his studio in Manhattan.
Jason Priset is a regular performer in the New York metropolitan area and worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) from Stony Brook University in guitar performance, and specializes in a variety of lute and guitar-related instruments that include lute, theorbo, bandurra, baroque guitar, 19th century guitar, and modern guitar. As well as concerts in the States, Jason has appeared in concerts in Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Jason has performed and toured with Bach Vespers, Brandywine Baroque, Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, Early Music New York, LOFT Opera, Newton Baroque, Piffaro: The Renaissance Band, The Soul’s Delight, Simpson College Opera, Stony Brook Baroque Players, and the Queens College Opera Studio. Currently, Jason is serving as Executive Director for the Lute Society of America (LSA) Festival and the LSA East seminar at the Amherst Early Music Festival. As an educator Jason holds an extensive guitar and lute studio in Rockland County and serves on faculty at Montclair State University.
Tracy Cowart (mezzo-soprano) enjoys a wide range of vocal interests, from twelfth-century polyphony to contemporary art music. Praised by the New York Times as “the real attraction” with a voice that is “light and lithe,” Tracy has performed with Artek, Apollo’s Fire, the American Classical Orchestra, Musica Pacifica, Opera Lafayette, the Newberry Consort, Rose of the Compass, Severall Friends, Tenet, Three Notch’d Road, the Vox Vocal Ensemble, and the Washington Bach Consort. She is also co-founder the medieval ensemble Alkemie, with whom she has performed on the Capitol Early Music, Indianapolis Early Music, and Music Before 1800 series. Also known for her interpretations of new music, Tracy has performed with the Great Noise Ensemble, sung cabaret with the Richmond Festival of Music, and toured with Weird Uncle, an experimental group that fuses medieval modes, jug band, and electronica. Tracy received her M.M. in Early Music from the Longy School of Music and her D.M.A. in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University; she is faculty with the Amherst Early Music Festival, and has been a guest-artist/lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, Fairmont State University, Bucknell University, and the Society for Seventeenth Century Music. She is a proud collaborator with the Charlottesville-based Early Music Access Project, and will direct the early music Collegium at Fordham University this coming fall. When she is not performing, she is an enthusiastic forager and herbalist, and member of the New York Mycological Society.
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